Gabby Giffords is the former Arizona congresswoman who was shot during a political appearance in 2011. She recently returned to the capital to push for expanded background checks for gun purchases so that people can’t just buy any old gun at a gun show or over the internet. That seems reasonable enough, and how can you not listen to a woman who has suffered so much when it comes to gun control?
The biggest question that this tweet raises for me: What’s it like to be the person who writes @NRA tweets? We reached out to the social media intern at the NRA to see what it’s like, his answer is below.
— Braden - @NRA Social Media Intern
Dear Funny Or Die,
Thanks for reaching out! I know I’ve been in a little hot water lately concerning @NRA’s last tweet about Gabby Giffords. I understand why some people might have taken issue with the tweet’s message, but I respectfully stand by what I wrote. The fact is, the tweet is on brand, punchy, and I had someone holding a gun to my head while I was writing it. So, I really didn’t have a choice. It was either get a bullet through the brain or write that tweet.
The NRA’s social media mission is clear: “Show ‘em we like guns and we think everyone should have lots of guns.” That quote is actually engraved on a plaque that they nailed to my computer’s monitor. It presents a problem in terms of seeing what I’m typing on my computer, but it does a great job of keeping the content we push out through social media on message and relevant to the association’s goals.
Personally, I have a communications degree from Northwestern and over two years experience as a social media intern for media companies like Vice, the Chicago Cubs, and MTV(other), and one thing I’ve learned is that every organization has different ideas for how to best leverage social media to improve their brand. The NRA’s strategy is to hold a gun to my head and force me to log in to their Twitter account and type what they say. Everyone else at the NRA has forgotten the password, username, and what logging in to something means weeks ago so, not to brag, but I’ve been able to carve out some pretty firm job security over here.
Let me walk you through my normal day at the NRA offices. I’m into work every morning at 9 a.m. and, upon arriving, a giant man in a jean vest named “Sick” greets me with a nod and presses the barrel of a Glock 17 handgun straight to my temple. From there I usually get a cup of coffee, Sick in tow, sit down at my desk, check my emails, and settle in for a long day of tweeting. Most of the tweets are @ replies to gun nuts asking me if I’ve “ever seen a gun THIS big before” and then a picture of them holding a gun with a bunch of children’s toys strewn about the living room in the background. Sick is pretty adamant about me answering each one of these with some version of “Nice!” or “True Patriot right there!”
Then I push out a few articles that have been posted on geocities websites that prove once and for all that guns in the household are not linked to violence in families or death of any kind. Then I punch out around 5, wave goodbye to Sick as he finally removes the barrel of his gun from my temple. I climb into my car, head throbbing and welted up from all the other guns that were pressed into different parts of my head during the day. Then I cry for a spell and drive the perimeter of the fenced-in compound because they won’t let me leave.
So, as you can see, the Gabby Giffords @NRA tweet that everyone’s up in arms about could have been WAY worse. In fact, its a wonder there aren’t constant, indecipherable gibberish tweets coming from @NRA on a daily basis. Well, anyway, please let me know if I can shed any more light on the social media situation here at @NRA and please HURRY UP AND COME HERE AND SAVE ME I’M TRAPPED AND DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!